BoatU.S. Life Vest Program Saves Three Childrens’ Lives

The BoatU.S. Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program is continuing to grow with the addition of 40 new sites to its nationwide program that provides a simple way for kids to borrow a right-sized life jacket at readily accessible launch ramps, marinas and waterfront businesses.

Since its inception six years ago, the program has saved the lives of three children. It is estimated that these life jackets have been loaned out more than 50,000 times. With over 300 sites across the country, the program is available to boaters in almost every region of the United States.

"Partnering with marinas allows us to reach out to boaters in their own element," said Chris Edmonston, Director of Boating Safety for the BoatU.S. Foundation. "We make it easy to keep kids safer while boating. If a boating family discovers they don’t have enough properly-fitting children’s life jackets on board, they can simply visit a loaner site and sign out - at no cost - an infant, child, or youth jacket. Once the family is done enjoying the water, they simply return the jacket."

The Foundation provides each new loaner site with a kit of 12 life jackets, protective storage bin, sign-out sheets and program signage, allowing hundreds of children all summer long to safely enjoy an afternoon, day or weekend on a boat with their families and friends.

The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety Clean Water is a nonprofit affiliate of Boat Owners Association of The United States - the nation’s largest recreational boating association with over 540,000 members. For more information on making a tax-deductible donation to help keep programs like these afloat, go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation. Businesses or organizations interested in participating can next apply to the program in November 2003.

The following organizations and businesses and have been selected to participate in the Life Jacket Loaner Program for Kids:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hayneville, AL
Joplin Volunteer Fire Department, Mt. Ida, AR
County of Humboldt, Health Human Services, Public Health Branch, Eureka, CA
Elk Grove Community, Elk Grove, CA
C-Quarter's Marina, Carrabelle, FL
Camanchee Cove Marina, St. Augustine, FL
City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin, Fort Myers, FL
Crystal Cove Marina, Palatka, FL
TowBoatU.S. Daytona, Daytona Beach, FL
TowBoatOne, Riviera Beach, FL
Evergreen Park Fire Department, Evergreen Park, IL
Inland Marina, Evansville, IN
Monument Beach Marina, Bourne, MA
TowBoatU.S. Newbury Port, Salisbury, MA
Town of Wellfleet Marina, Wellfleet, MA
TowBoatU.S. Middle River, Middle River, MD
Bridge Harbour Marina, Port Huron, MI
St. Clair County Sheriff-Marine Division, Algonac, MI
Suttons Bay Boat Club, Suttons Bay, MI
Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Boulder City, NV
Center Yacht Club, Center Moriches, NY
Eastport Marina, Eastport, NY
The Waterfront Center, East Norwich, NY
Dockside Marina, Wilmington, NC
Morehead City Yacht Basin, Morehead City, NC
Rocky Mount Police Department, Rocky Mount, NC
TowBoatU.S. Moriches, Mastic Beach, NY
Three Seasons Marina, Croydon, PA
US Army Corps of Engineers, Tioga, Hammond Cowanesque Lakes, Tioga, PA
Kenport Marina, Wakefield, RI
Anchorage Marina, Willis, TX
Lake O' The Pines Tackle Shop, Avinger, TX
Marina at Marina Shores, Virginia Beach, VA
Northhampton County Anglers, Eastville, VA
Portsmouth Boating Center, Portsmouth, VA
Yankee Point Sailboat Marina, Lancaster, VA
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bridgeport, WA
Algoma Marina, Algoma, WI
Washburn Marina, Washburn, WI
Wave Pointe Marina and Resort, Sturgeon Bay, WI